- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Basic training required
- Need to be aware of potential health issues
- Enjoys active walks
- Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
- Large dog
- Some drool
- Requires grooming once a week
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
- Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
- May need additional training to live with other pets
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a large garden
- Can happily live in the city
- Can be left alone with training
|Colours:||The colour of the short coat comes in fawn and brindle, usually with some white markings; they can also be totally white in colour|
|Kennel Club group:||Working|
|Easy to train:||4/5|
|Tolerates being alone:||1/5|
|Likes other pets:||3/5|
Boxer dogs remain puppy-like throughout their lives, making them quite a handful! Lively, strong and loyal, they make great pets for all the family, adults and children alike, but can be boisterous so may not be suitable in a home with very young children - or where owners don't have time to give them the attention and exercise they need as they can get bored easily!
Fearless and very self-assured, they are not quick to pick a fight, but more than able to defend themselves if they have to. They do not like being left home alone and can become distressed and destructive.
History and Origins
Country of Origin: Germany
The ancestors of this now well-known breed were the German Bullenbeisser and the English Bulldog - and for a while the breed was known as the German Bulldog. The Bullenbeisser was a formidable hunting dog who originally was able to tackle deer, boar and even bears, holding them by the nose until hunters arrived. By the late 19th century however, faster, lighter dogs became more useful than strong ones and so the breed became smaller before being crossed with the English Bulldog to create the Boxer breed.
After in-fighting between rival breeders as to what the Boxer should look like, the breed eventually stabilised in 1910, but then war broke out and the Boxer was drafted as a military dog acting as a highly successful messenger dog. After the war, many soldiers returned home and took the dogs who had fought alongside them with them where they became popular as family companions.
Boxer dogs are predisposed to a variety of potentially serious diseases, in particular heart problems and cancers. Checking that dogs have been bred from lines that are free of these specific health problems will help reduce the likelihood of these disorders.
With their flattened noses, many are affected by the health problems that can plague brachycephalic dogs including breathing problems and skin problems.
The Boxer is a high-energy breed that does require plenty of exercise and a lot of training and enrichment as they are always on the go. Two hours plus walking a day is recommended along with regular training and games.
The Boxer really is a country dog as they need plenty of free-running exercise and their sheer exuberance and love of life needs lots of space both indoors and out!
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Boxers are prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The Boxer dog's coat is easily kept clean, as it is very short. A rubber grooming mitt can be used once in a while to keep the coat in good condition. Any nose wrinkles need to be kept clean and dry.
With their high-energy and juvenile behaviour, the Boxer needs on-going training from a very early age in order to be controllable and well-behaved. Thankfully this is a joy as they are clever and enjoy working with their owner so can easily be the stars of their training class. You do need to have a sense of humour though as the Boxer can get bored easily and will then have much more fun playing the clown instead!
Boxers make fabulous family dogs as they are devoted to all and are excellent with children. They can be overly-boisterous for smaller children however and so are better suited to older families.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did You Know?
- Many famous people have owned and loved Boxers - including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. They got their first Boxer as a wedding present - then followed that up by getting two more.
- Their name comes from their tendency to stand up on their hind legs when playing and ‘box’ like a human does!
- The Guinness World Record for ‘Longest Tongue on a Dog’ belonged to a Boxer named Brandy, their tongue was a huge 17 inches long.
- Boxer’s are very excitable and always glad to see their favourite human, so much so that they’re known to do the ‘kidney bean dance’ which is where they’ll twist their bodies in a semicircle and start turning!
- As they have short muzzles, they’re known to snore quite a lot!